International Consultant to conduct midterm evaluation for Drini Project

Location : Home Based with 12 days mission in Drini Riparians, ALBANIA
Application Deadline :26-Aug-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :32 Days over the period August - Decemmber 2018

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


This is the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (MTR) which is to be undertaken in 2018 for the full sized project titled Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the extended Drin River Basin” (PIMS 4482) and the associated medium-sized project “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the White Drin and the extended Drin Basin” (PIMS 5510)  executed by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) Organization. The project started as per the signed Project Cooperation Agreement with GWP in follow up to the signature of the Project Document signature. This ToR sets out the expectations for this MTR.  The MTR process must follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (


The “extended” Drin Basin is located in the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It comprises the transboundary sub–basins of the Drin and Buna/Bojana Rivers and of the Prespa, Ohrid and Skadar/Shkoder Lakes. The Drin River is the “connecting body” of the “extended” Drin Basin, linking the lakes, wetlands, rivers and other aquatic habitats into a single, yet complex, ecosystem of major importance. The water bodies and their watersheds are spread in a geographical area that includes Albania, Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo[1].

The complex nature of the Drin Basin -where lakes, rivers and underground flows interact in ways hard to unravel compounded by the many and often conflicting uses of water resources and by the transboundary conditions that prevail throughout the basin- determines the high fragility of the basin ecosystems and poses serious challenges to the overall sustainability of the water resources of the basin. 

The main management challenges in the Drin Basin include:

  • Unsustainable use of water and other natural resources
  • Hydromorphologic interventions altering the nature of the hydrological system and the supported ecosystems, as well as exacerbating flood incidents
  • Untreated or poorly treated wastewater and unsustainable agricultural practices
  • Unsustainable solid waste management
  • Unsustainable forestry management and deforestation, as well as fishing practices and hunting
  • Unsustainable tourism
  • Non-integrated policies, management schemes and cooperation efforts at national and transboundary level

Action towards integrated basin management is ongoing by all Riparians sharing the Basin, but there is still a long way to go, as the Riparians are at different stages of transposition and implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

In terms of cooperation at the sub-basin levels, there are international agreements among the Riparians forming the basis for water resources and ecosystem management-related cooperation in each of the Basin’s three lakes. However, so far there has been mostly a unilateral perspective in the management of the shared water resources. There is space for improvement in cooperation when it comes to the preparation of River Basin Management Plans.

Overall, there is an absence of an overarching basin-wide policy formulation and decision-making framework grounded on scientific data and knowledge. This has hindered the design of coherent strategies, legislation and regulations, and has prevented the identification of investments which are aligned with the sustainable utilization of the Basin’s water resources and their integrated management.

The project goal is to promote joint management of the shared water resources of the transboundary Drin River Basin, including coordination mechanisms among the various sub-basin joint commissions and committees. Albania, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro are the Project beneficiaries.

The same goal is fostered by the GEF supported Medium Size Project “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the White Drin and the extended Drin Basin”. Kosovo[2] is the beneficiary of that Project.

The duration of the two Projects is four years.

Each of the Projects is articulated into five -identical in content- components; they are designed to achieve the goal mentioned above, through: (i) building consensus among countries on key transboundary concerns and drivers of change, including climate variability and change, reached through joint fact finding; (ii) facilitating the agreement on a shared vision and on a program of priority actions deemed necessary to achieve the vision; (iii) strengthening technical and institutional capacities.

The Projects are aligned in content, aims and objectives with the Drin Coordinated Action and the respective Drin Action Plan (2012).

The Drin Coordinated Action is the framework set by the Drin riparian countries for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Management of the Extended Transboundary Drin Basin (Drin MoU; signed by the Ministers responsible for the management of water resources and/or environment, and high level representatives of the Riparians[3], in Tirana, on 25 November 2011).

The Projects will assist in the operationalization of the institutional structure of the Drin Coordinated Action established through the Drin MoU, rendering it capable of undertaking its coordinative and executive role.

This includes:

  • The Meeting of the Parties
  • The Drin Core Group (DCG). This body is given the mandate to coordinate actions for the implementation of the MoU. There are two ordinary DCG meetings per year. The DCG Secretariat provides technical and administrative support to the DCG.
  • Three Expert Working Groups (EWG): (i) Water Framework Directive implementation EWG (ii) Monitoring and Information exchange EWG (iii) Biodiversity and Ecosystem EWG.

The DCG has undertaken the role of the Steering Committee of the Project.

The Projects are executed by GWP-Med with the involvement of UNECE. The Project Coordination Unit (PCU) staff are based in Tirana, Podgorica, Ohrid, Pristina, and Athens. The budget is $4,5 for the full-size project and $1 M for the medium-sized project.

[1] All references to Kosovo on this website are made in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

[2] All references to Kosovo on this website are made in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

[3] Albania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Kosovo and Montenegro.

Duties and Responsibilities


The MTR will assess progress towards the achievement of the project objectives and outcomes as specified in the Project Document, and assess early signs of project success or failure with the goal of identifying the necessary changes to be made in order to set the project on-track to achieve its intended results. The MTR will also review the project’s strategy, its risks to sustainability.


The MTR must provide evidence based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The MTR team will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Environmental & Social Safeguard Policy, the Project Document, project reports including Annual Project Review/PIRs, project budget revisions, lesson learned reports, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review). The MTR team will review the baseline GEF focal area Tracking Tool submitted to the GEF at CEO endorsement, and the midterm GEF focal area Tracking Tool that must be completed before the MTR field mission begins. 

The MTR team is expected to follow a collaborative and participatory approach[1] ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), the UNDP Country Office(s), UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisers, and other key stakeholders.

Engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful MTR.[2] Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to the Water Agency, Albania; Ministry of Environment, Albania; Ministry of Environment & Physical Planning, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Ministry of Environment & Energy, Greece; Kosovo[3] Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Environment & Spatial Planning, Kosovo[4]; Ministry of Environment & Spatial Planning Ministry of Sustainable; Development & Tourism, Montenegro Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Montenegro, Municipality of Shkodra, Municipality of Ohrid, Municipality of Rahovec; executing agencies, senior officials and task team/ component leaders, key experts and consultants in the subject area, Project Board, project stakeholders, academia, local government and CSOs, etc. Additionally, the MTR team is expected to conduct field missions to Tirana, Podgorica, Skopja Pristina as well as to Shkodra and Ohrid.

The final MTR report should describe the full MTR approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the review.


The MTR team will assess the following four categories of project progress. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for extended descriptions.

i.    Project Strategy

Project design:

·         Review the problem addressed by the project and the underlying assumptions.  Review the effect of any incorrect assumptions or changes to the context to achieving the project results as outlined in the Project Document.

·         Review the relevance of the project strategy and assess whether it provides the most effective route towards expected/intended results.  Were lessons from other relevant projects properly incorporated into the project design?

·         Review how the project addresses country priorities. Review country ownership. Was the project concept in line with the national sector development priorities and plans of the country (or of participating countries in the case of multi-country projects)?

·         Review decision-making processes: were perspectives of those who would be affected by project decisions, those who could affect the outcomes, and those who could contribute information or other resources to the process, taken into account during project design processes?

·         Review the extent to which relevant gender issues were raised in the project design. See Annex 9 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for further guidelines.

·         If there are major areas of concern, recommend areas for improvement.

Results Framework/Logframe:

·         Undertake a critical analysis of the project’s logframe indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” the midterm and end-of-project targets are (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound), and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary.

·         Are the project’s objectives and outcomes or components clear, practical, and feasible within its time frame?

·         Examine if progress so far has led to, or could in the future catalyse beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance etc...) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis.

·         Ensure broader development and gender aspects of the project are being monitored effectively.  Develop and recommend SMART ‘development’ indicators, including sex-disaggregated indicators and indicators that capture development benefits.

ii.    Progress Towards Results

Progress Towards Outcomes Analysis:

·         Review the logframe indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets using the Progress Towards Results Matrix and following the Guidance for Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “Not on target to be achieved” (red).

Table. Progress Towards Results Matrix (Achievement of outcomes against End-of-project Targets)

Project Strategy


Baseline Level[6]

Level in 1st  PIR (self- reported)

Midterm Target[7]

End-of-project Target

Midterm Level & Assessment[8]

Achievement Rating[9]

Justification for Rating



Indicator (if applicable):








Outcome 1:

Indicator 1:








Indicator 2:






Outcome 2:

Indicator 3:








Indicator 4:





















Indicator Assessment Key

Green= Achieved

Yellow= On target to be achieved

Red= Not on target to be achieved

In addition to the progress towards outcomes analysis:

·         Compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool at the Baseline with the one completed right before the Midterm Review.

·         Identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective in the remainder of the project.

·         By reviewing the aspects of the project that have already been successful, identify ways in which the project can further expand these benefits.

iii.   Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

Management Arrangements:

·         Review overall effectiveness of project management as outlined in the Project Document.  Have changes been made and are they effective?  Are responsibilities and reporting lines clear?  Is decision-making transparent and undertaken in a timely manner?  Recommend areas for improvement.

·         Review the quality of execution of the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner(s) and recommend areas for improvement.

·         Review the quality of support provided by the GEF Partner Agency (UNDP) and recommend areas for improvement.

Work Planning:

·         Review any delays in project start-up and implementation, identify the causes and examine if they have been resolved.

·         Are work-planning processes results-based?  If not, suggest ways to re-orientate work planning to focus on results?

·         Examine the use of the project’s results framework/ logframe as a management tool and review any changes made to it since project start. 

Finance and co-finance:

·         Consider the financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions. 

·         Review the changes to fund allocations as a result of budget revisions and assess the appropriateness and relevance of such revisions.

·         Does the project have the appropriate financial controls, including reporting and planning, that allow management to make informed decisions regarding the budget and allow for timely flow of funds?

·         Informed by the co-financing monitoring table to be filled out, provide commentary on co-financing: is co-financing being used strategically to help the objectives of the project? Is the Project Team meeting with all co-financing partners regularly in order to align financing priorities and annual work plans?

Project-level Monitoring and Evaluation Systems:

·         Review the monitoring tools currently being used:  Do they provide the necessary information? Do they involve key partners? Are they aligned or mainstreamed with national systems?  Do they use existing information? Are they efficient? Are they cost-effective? Are additional tools required? How could they be made more participatory and inclusive?

·         Examine the financial management of the project monitoring and evaluation budget.  Are sufficient resources being allocated to monitoring and evaluation? Are these resources being allocated effectively?

Stakeholder Engagement:

·         Project management: Has the project developed and leveraged the necessary and appropriate partnerships with direct and tangential stakeholders?

·         Participation and country-driven processes: Do local and national government stakeholders support the objectives of the project?  Do they continue to have an active role in project decision-making that supports efficient and effective project implementation?

·         Participation and public awareness: To what extent has stakeholder involvement and public awareness contributed to the progress towards achievement of project objectives?


·         Assess how adaptive management changes have been reported by the project management and shared with the Project Board.

·         Assess how well the Project Team and partners undertake and fulfil GEF reporting requirements (i.e. how have they addressed poorly-rated PIRs, if applicable?)

·         Assess how lessons derived from the adaptive management process have been documented, shared with key partners and internalized by partners.


·         Review internal project communication with stakeholders: Is communication regular and effective? Are there key stakeholders left out of communication? Are there feedback mechanisms when communication is received? Does this communication with stakeholders contribute to their awareness of project outcomes and activities and investment in the sustainability of project results?

·         Review external project communication: Are proper means of communication established or being established to express the project progress and intended impact to the public (is there a web presence, for example? Or did the project implement appropriate outreach and public awareness campaigns?)

·         For reporting purposes, write one half-page paragraph that summarizes the project’s progress towards results in terms of contribution to sustainable development benefits, as well as global environmental benefits.

iv.   Sustainability

·         Validate whether the risks identified in the Project Document, Annual Project Review/PIRs and the ATLAS Risk Management Module are the most important and whether the risk ratings applied are appropriate and up to date. If not, explain why.

·         In addition, assess the following risks to sustainability:

Financial risks to sustainability:

·         What is the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the GEF assistance ends (consider potential resources can be from multiple sources, such as the public and private sectors, income generating activities, and other funding that will be adequate financial resources for sustaining project’s outcomes)?

Socio-economic risks to sustainability:

·         Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outcomes? What is the risk that the level of stakeholder ownership (including ownership by governments and other key stakeholders) will be insufficient to allow for the project outcomes/benefits to be sustained? Do the various key stakeholders see that it is in their interest that the project benefits continue to flow? Is there sufficient public / stakeholder awareness in support of the long-term objectives of the project? Are lessons learned being documented by the Project Team on a continual basis and shared/ transferred to appropriate parties who could learn from the project and potentially replicate and/or scale it in the future?

Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability:

·         Do the legal frameworks, policies, governance structures and processes pose risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project benefits? While assessing this parameter, also consider if the required systems/ mechanisms for accountability, transparency, and technical knowledge transfer are in place.

Environmental risks to sustainability:

·         Are there any environmental risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes?

Conclusions & Recommendations

The MTR team will include a section of the report setting out the MTR’s evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.[10]

Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for guidance on a recommendation table.

The MTR team should make no more than 15 recommendations total.

[1] For ideas on innovative and participatory Monitoring and Evaluation strategies and techniques, see UNDP Discussion Paper: Innovations in Monitoring & Evaluating Results, 05 Nov 2013.

[2] For more stakeholder engagement in the M&E process, see the UNDP Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results, Chapter 3, pg. 93.

[3] All references to Kosovo on this website are made in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

[4] All references to Kosovo on this website are made in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

[5] Populate with data from the Logframe and scorecards

[6] Populate with data from the Project Document

[7] If available

[8] Colour code this column only

[9] Use the 6 point Progress Towards Results Rating Scale: HS, S, MS, MU, U, HU

[10] Alternatively, MTR conclusions may be integrated into the body of the report.


The total duration of the MTR will be approximately 32 days over a time period of 14 of weeks starting 31 August, and shall not exceed four months from when the consultant(s) are hired. The tentative MTR timeframe is as follows:



16 August 2018

Application closes

7 September 2018

Select MTR Team

14 September 2018

Prep the MTR Team (handover of Project Documents)

3 days

Document review and preparing MTR Inception Report

5 days

Finalization and Validation of MTR Inception Report- latest start of MTR mission

12 days

MTR mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits

19 October 2018

Mission wrap-up meeting & presentation of initial findings- earliest end of MTR mission

10 days

Preparing draft report

2 days

Incorporating audit trail from feedback on draft report/Finalization of MTR report

25 November 2018

Preparation & Issue of Management Response



30 November 2018

Expected date of full MTR completion

Options for site visits should be provided in the Inception Report. 








MTR Inception Report

MTR team clarifies objectives and methods of Midterm Review

No later than 1 week before the MTR mission: 17 September 2018

MTR team submits to the Commissioning Unit and project management



Initial Findings

End of MTR mission: 19 October 2018

MTR Team presents to project management and the Commissioning Unit


Draft Final Report

Full report (using guidelines on content outlined in Annex B) with annexes

Within 3 weeks of the MTR mission: 12 November 2018

Sent to the Commissioning Unit, reviewed by RTA, Project Coordinating Unit, GEF OFP


Final Report*

Revised report with audit trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report

Within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on draft: 19 November 2018

Sent to the Commissioning Unit

*The final MTR report must be in English. If applicable, the Commissioning Unit may choose to arrange for a translation of the report into a language more widely shared by national stakeholders.


The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s MTR is UNDP Albania office that will work in close cooperation with UNDP Kosovo[1] office and will coordinate with GWP-Med.

The commissioning unit will contract the consultants and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements   within the four (4) beneficiary countries for the MTR team. The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the MTR team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.

[1] All references to Kosovo on this website are made in the context of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)


10% of payment upon approval of the final MTR Inception Report

30% upon submission of the draft MTR report

60% upon finalization of the MTR report




Corporate and Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Communication - Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.
  • Planning & Organizing – Develops clear goals in line with agreed strategies, identifies priorities, foresees risks and makes allowances accordingly.
  • Organizational Awareness - Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.
  • Teamwork - Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Accountability – Takes ownership of all responsibilities and delivers outputs in accordance with agreed time, cost and quality standards.

Functional competencies:

  • Deep understanding of the process of conducting VAW surveys, analysing statistical information and writing reports based on quantitative and qualitative VAW surveys;
  • Extensive writing, presentation, communication and facilitation skills
  • Analytical mind, solid research experience and capacity to deliver as per deadlines.
  • Some understanding of the situation regarding women’s rights, children’s rights and VAW in Albania
  • Sensitivity and ability to work in a multicultural environment
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate sound judgment
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively

Required Skills and Experience

An independent consultant will conduct the MTR .  The consultant cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) and should not have a conflict of interest with project’s related activities. 

The applicant should meet the below qualifications:

·         Recent experience with result-based management evaluation methodologies;

·         Experience applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios;

·         Competence in adaptive management, as applied to International Waters;

·         Experience working with the GEF or GEF-evaluations;

·         Experience working in South East Europe and preferably in the Drin Riparians area (Albania, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia);

·         Work experience in relevant technical areas of at least 10 years;

·         Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and International Waters; experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis.

·         Excellent communication skills;

·         Demonstrable analytical skills;

·         Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset;

·         A Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management, Environmental Management or other closely related field.

Evaluation of Applicants

UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would take into account both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:

  • Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
  • And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70

Criteria A:  experience in relevant technical areas - max points: 30

Criteria B:Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management, Environmental Management or other closely related field– max points: 25

Criteria C: Previous experience in transboundary project's evaluation   – max points: 15

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max points: 30


  • Completed and signed UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SC) and Individual Contracts (IC) – Blank form Download here.
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability - please fill in the attached form:
  •  Brief description of approach to work/technical proposal of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a proposed methodology on how they will approach and complete the assignment; (max 1 page)
  •  Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price and all other travel related costs (such as flight ticket, per diem, etc), supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template attached to the Letter of Confirmation of Interest template.  If an applicant is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the applicant must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. 

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  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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